3 Methods of Data Destruction

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If you produce any data as a company, then you should be thinking about data destruction. Why? Even though you may not be producing what you would consider to be sensitive or proprietary data, trust us, you are. You have information on your hard drives about your business, your clients, and your employees. If you are thinking about data destruction now, then you’ll want to pay attention to these 3 methods of data destruction.

What Methods of Data Destruction Will 100% Destroy Data?

Below are the only 3 methods that will 100% destroy your data when used properly. Note that, when not done properly, some of your data may remain accessible and could still put you at risk. This is why you want to ensure that any data destruction service is not only following proper and certified procedures but that they also 100% contractually own liability.


A hard drive disintegrating on a black backgroundDegaussing is a process that uses a high-power magnet to destroy any data stored by a magnetic field. This includes most of your old storage mediums such as floppy disks and magnetic tape, but it also works on hard disk drives. This method does not work on newer solid-state drives, CDs, DVDs, etc.

This process does have a few drawbacks, one being that it renders the drive entirely inoperable. In the case of older storage mediums, this is probably preferable. Additionally though, since it is inoperable, there is no easy way to verify that the data is destroyed. Another reason why you should only utilize a trusted vendor.


Overwriting is the process of writing junk or random data on top of old data often multiple times. In the case of many drives, it has to be random data too as old data can often leave a barely readable “ghost” image behind. So if you are writing just all 1s or all 0s on the binary data, your data may still be readable. Think of it like the difference between putting a darkening filter over your monitor or introducing static into the feed, the latter is going to be better at making the information on the screen more difficult to understand.

This process is time-consuming, and it requires special software. It does have the benefit of working on both hard disk drives and solid state drives though the latter often requires unique software specific to the drive manufacturer or even the drive itself.

Physical Destruction

This type of data destruction is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s not something that you can do easily on your own. Drive shredders are highly specialized pieces of machinery. Being almost the size of a small car, they are highly specialized and expensive.

Don’t feel bad about the destruction of your drives either. Not only does it ensure that data is inaccessible, but those valuable materials left in the remnants of your drive can be safely recycled.

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Does Hard Drive Formatting Work?

Hard drive formatting is useful for opening up drive space and starting over, but it is terrible at destroying data. Anyone with even basic computer skills can access old data after a format. Even multiple formats do little good and in the case of SSDs, it will likely only serve to prematurely wear out your drive.

Where to Get Data Destruction Services?

If you are looking for data destruction services that you can trust, look no further than Sadoff E-Recycling & Data Destruction. We do everything in-house without shipping to an outside party. We 100% contractually own liability, we have the i-SIGMA NAID AAA data destruction certification that you should be looking for, and from our Wisconsin and Nebraska locations, we serve clients nationwide. Reach out today for a quote!

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